« Sparano thoughts as rookie minicamp closes | Main | The reasons the Starks move is a gamble »

A focus on the still lingering free safety question

There are some positions on the Dolphins that beg attention. The areas I'm talking about are unsettled, need adjusting or simply need more talent. One of the most interesting of those has been, and remains, the free safety position.

Free safety is a position that begs our attention because there are so many things going on. First, you should recognize there are "acorns," as general manager Jeff Ireland calls them, still out there that could be picked up and added to the roster.

Free agent safety Darren Sharper is not one of those guys. Sharper has two contract offers that he's considering -- one from New Orleans, one from Jacksonville. The Dolphins were not in the mix as of this morning and you should not expect them to get in the mix. Sharper, as I write this, has not been on Miami's radar all offseason so it would take a significant shift in direction for that to change at this late stage.

Sharper is an excellent player, a playmaker at safety. But Sharper is probably older (35 in November) than the type of player the Dolphins want to add to the roster now.

[UPDATE 4:41 p.m.: Sharper has agreed to a one-year deal with the Saints, according to a source close to him. Several news organization and websites, including profootballtalk.com, are reporting the same thing, citing a league source.]

There is the possibility the Dolphins might be planning to do something with O.J. Atogwe after June 1. The issue can get complicated but, in a nutshell, Atogwe is a restricted free agent who is not signing his tender. After June 1, the St. Louis Rams must extend his tender to keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

But to extend the tender they must pay him 110 percent of his 2009 salary which was $6,342,021. Most observers don't see a way the Rams will extend a new tender of $6,976,223 after June 1. Atogwe simply didn't play up to that level last year after a very good year in 2008. So Atogwe may be hitting the market.

And the Dolphins might/should consider the 28-year-old as an option.

For now, the other options the Dolphins can consider are on the roster. And I would tell you the next month is important to those guys because how they perform in coming OTA sessions could impact whether the Dolphins chase an Atogwe or some other acorn in June and beyond.

That means Chris Clemons, Tyrone Culver, and Reshad Jones are on notice. They either answer the bell in May -- as much as they are allowed in Jones's case -- or the Dolphins will go looking for someone better in June and through training camp.

My feeling? Miami's 2010 starting free safety is not currently on the roster. Everything the Dolphins have done this offseason -- cut Gibril Wilson, chased Antrel Rolle and Ryan Clark, drafted Jones while seriously considering Earl Thomas -- suggests the Dolphins want to upgrade beyond Clemons and Culver.

No knock on either, those are just the facts.

Jones, by the way, is interesting in that he was all the rage during rookie camp. He visited the team priot to the draft and was thought to be a third-to-fourth round talent by many before going to the Dolphins in the fifth round. Although there have been past questions about his instincts, he has prototypical size.

"I felt him in the last couple of days," coach Tony Sparano said of Jones on the final day of the rookie camp. "He’s been around the football a bunch and made a couple of plays [Saturday] in the bubble. I think that he’s got the hardest job out there obviously because he’s got to get things lined up. I think from his standpoint it’s trying to figure things out defensively.

"We really didn’t throw as much at him defensively in this camp as we did maybe thrown at the offensive guys but we did throw a pretty good dose at him. It won’t be like when we get down the road here and he’ll be getting it fast, but, we threw a pretty good dose at him. He digested it pretty well; I thought he moved around great."

We will keep our eyes on Jones. Actually, we'll keep our eyes on all the free safety candidates -- because that's a position that if far from being settled.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A focus on the still lingering free safety question:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I think between Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons the Dolphins have their safety... both were considered steals in the 5th round... somebody has got to step up... and anybody is better than the Gerbil

Alex you're friggin kidding right? What has Armando been wrong about? LOL. My god where do we start? Alex, Armando would be the first one to tell you he gets things wrong from time to time. He's human after all right? We're all wrong sometimes. This is a sports blog and when you give your opinion you are guessing as to what may happen.

"I don't think Brandon Marshall will ever be a Dolphin". Do you know how many people said that one? How about "in my opinion Pennington will not be resigned by the Dolphins". Well he did. So is the reporter that wrote that statement wrong?

Cuban Menace,

well im a first time blogger so im new to all this and everybody with their antics.

im here to pick the mind of what i thought wud be the best place to find real doplhin luvers, ya dig!

mark my words...R.jones is gonna be a beast at the safety position. He's gonna be a great player, with other key additions to the defense, that will help mr. jones become an awesome safety. I love the dolphins, we will be a threat this year.

dolphinkingpete, if u think this blog is bad now, just wait till the season begins,boy, ur in for some twists and flat out name calling!!!





What is the Aloco movie of the day? Give the people something good, its monday, they need escape...

Genronimo, In your "Warrior" Culture, are people like pricemaster and Marc Shunned???

Posted by: Cuban Menace | May 03, 2010 at 05:38 PM

In my culture people like them are not fit to be fed to our trusty guard dogs


Any word on Pat White?


"But NJ was defending Omar by saying he's as good as Mando which is a joke to anyone that can read. It's funny to me that NJ is HERE on Mando's blog talking about him behind him back"

There's a perfect example Alex. Some people like Omar and some like Armando. Unless you're a writer that has been around for a few decades you have no frame of reference to call one writer better than the other, and in that case your statement becomes an opinion. You like Armando better than Omar and that's fine. It's someone elses opinion that they like Omar better, so what?

I happen to think that both writers bring something different to the table. Armando is quick with his info and has a fun style of writing that pulls the reader in and makes them feel like they're talking to a friend over a beer. Omar does fun player interviews and does in depth evaluations of training camp battles and goings on. He's the only writer I've ever seen that actually talks about both sides of the line and how the players project within the lineup.

I like them both and we're lucky to have two guys that have so much to say about our favorite team. Both of these guys are on the ball for the most part. You don't like Armando or Omar? Move to Seattle or Arizona and see how much you like the sports writers out there, lol, talk about hacks!

Lastly, NJ isn't talking behind anyones back, this is Armandos blog and he has been known to drop in quite often. He knows what's going on and he's a very smart guy who doesn't need people to defend him. He ripped into me really good one day and it was awesome! I gained a whole new respect for him and realized just how little he needs anyone to come to his defense.

Aloco, What about dinner, what's on the menu tonite??




Dang aloco, She still down there?? Hasnt she been down there for like 2 months already????You sure she didnt meet some "Boto" down there??

Dolphinman, yes I purposely showed my age. I'm 38 and can't believe all of the problems that started right around the age of 33. No big deal just things that never affected me in my twenties. Thought I was invincible and found out that the world is chock full of kryptonite!

But someone saying that 28 is too old to play safety made me laugh. At 28 I wasn't too old for anything! That was the prime of life and I was doing all kinds of crazy things.

Alex, try taking your head out mando's arse and come up for a breather. Heck , you're probably mando himself or even his IT GUY. You're a fraud and a kiss arser . How as mando saying miami won't get brandon marshall or no way miami gets a 2nd rounder for taylor last year working out ?? . those are just 2 example of many brown noser. Now get lost

Posted by: NJ PHIN FAN | May 03, 2010 at 02:12 PM

Wow you're full of it Mando was the first one to report we had intrest in Marshall while in the same article you said it was never going to happen.


That was two good posts in a row. You're on a roll.
I agree with you on Jones all the way. He was the one draft pick that I got right. That means I've been watching him for a long time.
I did the same thing with Clemons last year.
I don't get any of the knocks on Jones. The only thing I've noticed is that he does occasionally take an initial "wrong step". Even so, this just made it more obvious as to how good his recovery and closing speed is. I think that initial step knock just speaks to his aggressiveness. I think it can be corrected.
You said it best, the sky is the limit for this guy. It all comes down to if he wants it bad enough.

Mando is a much better reporter then Omar while Omar is the better writer but he never seems to have any sort of inside info usally writing about complete BS and nonsense


wow dude, did u say black and white. thats back then with THE dinasours. DAMN!

you know we've Havent had a "PLUNGIE" Award in a while, What do you guys think??

There ya go ALoco! That's right and Mando is more than capable of sticking up for himself. Debating can be a lot of fun when people keep it civil. Sometimes people get lost in anger and lash out by name calling. It's completely unnecessary, people should be able to have differences in opinion without lashing out in that way. It usually signals some insecurity or ignorance in a person. We all do it because we're human but part of being human is also recognizing our faults and trying to correct them as we grow.

And I don't think I can say anything about Bess that hasn't already been said. He belongs in the NFL and without a #1 wr last year he still did very well. Can't wait to see what Brandon Marshalls prescence is going to do for the rest of the guys. Bess is an excellent slot receiver and I expect him to be there for the Dolphins for quite some time.

Hartline, I love the kid. Works hard studies harder from what I've read, and can catch anything. My only problem with him is not with him but in the way we may use him. Is he really a true #2 WR or would he better suited in the slot. Does he have enough speed to go against say Cromartie? Will he to have to make acrobatic catches every time he plays against a quicker CB or does he have enough speed to get open and catch in stride? I'm just not sure yet because I don't have enough of a body of work in the NFL to look at. I'm sold on the player but not yet on the position. This year will tell us those things.

Does anyone else have thoughts on Hartline or just want to call me a f***ing moron who knows nothing because of my opinion? LOL :)

I think Marc's "Pooper Post" qualifies.

He's always posting about wearing dresses and now he talking about guys butts!


Evening dolphans

nice day here in Louisville, but derby day was a downpour most of the time but still fun to watch the ponies all day.

Looking at the tapes of Jones I think he has the skills to handle fs; the real question that needs to be asked can he learn enough of the playbook to setup the defense based on what the other teams offense is showing.

Hartline did great being a Rookie last year, cant wait to see him this year and next.......

Thanks Geronimo, I hope we're right and more importantly I hope that Reshad does want it bad enough.

CM send me some devil crabs up here

Yeah Cuban, I'm really interested in seeing what he becomes because I'm kind of confused in which direction the trifecta see his career taking. Is he REALLY a #2 WR? Does anyone have any thoughts on why Hartline will or won't be a career #2 WR?


Geronimo, I concur with your nomination,Guys Any other post anyone wants to nominate please do so, We'll be posting the winner(Or in this case the loser) At 9 pm....

I agree with you and CM; i liked what Hartline did last year and think that with Marshall and Bess bess there will be significant improvement over the last couple of years.

Who do you double team? Marshall leaving Hartline and Bess open try to put extra coverage on either of them you still have the other open.

I mean he has the size at 6'2" but he was playing at 190lbs and that's too small in my opinion. He needs to bulk up a little to get off of the line quicker. I guess my big question is with his speed and I don't remember what his 40 time was.

Hartline ranked in the top ten in yds per reception last year so he's fast.Acrobatic catch?See Bills game not sure which one.


Wow that does seem a little light for his size; let's see what he comes in weighing after offseason workouts.

Good talking to you guys, catch you later.


Good point at 6:11

Well if the league thinks Sanchless has it I think Henne might have what it takes don't you?

NY, I see him as a number 1 receiver, whether it be here or some where else..

#2 QB situation interesting Loco, I would say Tyler is the one for now but i think its a smokescreen for pennington to be the thrid on the roster, by preseason if he begins to show signs that he can still be an accurate consistant QB, he'll mostly likely bumb up to the 2 role...as far as PAT white goes......lets just leave it at that*

190 LBS, I think he is somewhere in the 205 range, not sure, should I "GOOGLE" it to see??

With Marshall here, I see Hartline running alot of underneath/drag routes across the middle.
I've tried to not like this guy since we drafted him. He grows on you. Tough as nails with great hands. Whats not to love?


I totally agree with u on hartline being a solid #2 reciever. in the NFL speed is sometimes overrated for reciever, hartline is savvy enough to use his hands and get off the line as well as beating coverage.

noway cromartie can cover him 1-1, just dont see it happening. hartline plays beyond what his so call experience shud allow him becuz he knows hown to use his hands to prevent being stuck at the line of scrimmage unlike the speedster teddy finn.

Oh snap, he weighs 186, yeah he needs to bulk up...



Yeah, Cuban Menace, get off the Dez mom stuff. He did well for himself in spite of bad odds..your comments suck. Most of the guys on this blog I can really laugh at because, the should be in the standup comedian business.

If Reshad Jones starts at FS for the Dolphins we will get much better production from that position this year.Of course that in itself isn't saying very much.

With Sharper out of the picture, I say we let the Kids play.
Other than Sharper, I don't think any of the others warrant the risk. Maybe it's just too soon after suffering with Gebril.
Which brings me that OJ Atogwe(?). I think he's overated and really hasn't done that much in establishing himself as a big time NFL FS.
Again, unless it was going to be someone like Sharper, let the kids play.
It worked out pretty good last year with Vontae and Sean.......and Henne.......and Hartline.........

I doubt that very much aloco, who would still be out there worth trading for, Jamarcus Russel, Brady Quinn*lol*....i think not,nope were stuck with the guys we have which i think is not that bad of a deal.

Oh snap, he weighs 186, yeah he needs to bulk up...

Posted by: Cuban Menace | May 03, 2010 at 06:57 PM

Yeah, he needs to gain about 20 lbs.......
in his calves.

Seriously, as tough as he seems to be, I wouldn't sacrifice speed for bulk.

I not worried about his weight, he's a very tough kid. besides i think adding on too much weight and or muscle cud slow him down, he's a reciever guys. marvin harrison weighs like 100 pounds soking wet and made plays all over the field. they say size doesn't matter unless ur a chick with a deep itch if ya know wat i mean!

Yeah, Cuban Menace, get off the Dez mom stuff. He did well for himself in spite of bad odds..your comments suck. Most of the guys on this blog I can really laugh at because, the should be in the standup comedian business.

Posted by: Herb ORD | May 03, 2010 at 07:01 PM

When did I mention Dez Bryant??

Herb ORD,

I'm confused..........AGAIN!

Are you on the Dolphins Blog defending a Dallas Cowboy? Are you defending the honor of a Dallas Cowboys Momma?

Yeah you guys back off the Hookers! They need love too..............SURVIVE!!!!

When did I mention Dez Bryant??

Posted by: Cuban Menace | May 03, 2010 at 07:14 PM

He misread it. I'm the one that mentioned the Hooker. Go figure?

Cuban Menace,

How do you like it?
Herbivore comes on here and calls people comedians. The he tells you to STFU about something you didn't say........

HerbORD might be up for the converted "PLUNGIE" guys, thoughts??

Fins give Darren a shot make us all happy


Still, I think it's going to be tough competition going up against Marc/ie

The Dolphins FO will not go with any outside FS,
unless the players here don't look half-way good.
They don't want a one yearer-(Sharper, etc) to
get the reps the young need.

This team could be on the verge..keep the faith.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 »

The comments to this entry are closed.